Monday Musings (7/29/19)

How to Cure Writer's Block

Hey everybody, 

Greetings from Northern Michigan! I’m writing to you from a small town called Northport in Grand Traverse Bay.

We’ve spent our time kayaking, sharing stories by the bonfire, and eating lots of cherries. This is the cherry capital of the United States, and it’s peak cherry season. 

Tomorrow, I’m going to visit a friend in Columbia, Missouri. On Thursday, I’ll be back in Michigan to visit Detroit and Ann Arbor. If you have recommendations for food, museums, or activities, please send them! 


Write of Passage

The next version of my online writing course, Write of Passage begins on August 14th. 

The internet is the largest legal wealth creation tool in human history. Writing online is the best way to take advantage of it. Once you start a blog, you’ll become a beacon for people, ideas, and opportunities. 

After lots of student feedback, we made improvements to the course. We made the following changes: 

  • Writing groups to improve accountability

  • Option to complete newsletter and website setup before the course begins

  • Monday night live sessions devoted entirely to student feedback and live conversation

  • Smaller and more frequent writing projects

  • Option to complete key assignments before the course begins

By the end of the course, you’ll have a personal website, an email newsletter, and a series of published articles. 

You’ll also leave with (1) a repeatable system for writing consistently, (2) a collection of published articles, (3) a professional website, and (4) a method to distribute your ideas directly to friends and colleagues.

Next steps: 

  1. Visit the course website here.

  2. If you’re interested in learning about the course, sign up here

  3. If you’re ready to enroll, you can purchase the course here


Fresh Ideas

New Article: How to Cure Writer’s Block

By the time you finish this article, you’ll be done with writer’s block forever. 

The secrets of ending writer’s block lie in the lessons of Kendrick Lamar, David Sedaris, and Sebastian Junger:

"World-class writers don’t have their best ideas by staring at the blank page in front of them. The more time Kendrick Lamar spends meeting people, traveling, exploring his old neighborhood, or talking to children, the better his music."

In the post, I provide three strategies for curing writer’s block: 

  1. Gather supplies

  2. Talk it out

  3. Start with abundance

You can read the article here.


New Podcast: Tren Griffin

Tren Griffin is a Senior Director at Microsoft and the man behind an excellent blog called 25IQ.

He’s one of the most prolific writers I know. He’s written books about negotiation, entrepreneurship, and Charlie Munger. He published an article every week for almost six years, and because of all that hard work, he’s now posted more than 1.3 million words online.

We discussed: 

  • Tren’s writing process

  • Distribution in the cellular business

  • Software-as-a-Service business models

  • Lessons from legendary entrepreneur Craig McCaw

You can listen here: iTunes | Spotify | Website


Coolest Things I Learned This Week

Why Writing is The World’s Best Networking Activity

This is an excellent point.

From Andrew Chen

"Writing is the most scalable professional networking activity - stay home, don’t go to events/conferences, and just put ideas down. 

Building your network, your audience, and your ideas will be something you’ll want to do over your entire career. Think of your writing like a multi-decade project.”


Video Games are a Booming Industry

The video game industry generates more revenue than movies and music. 

Combined. 


Where are US Immigrants From?

I found this chart through my friend Shanu Mathew.

He was one of my Write of Passage students. The course attracts hyper-curious and intellectually ambitious people, and Shanu is a perfect example.

His newsletter is outstanding too.


Rise of Dystopian Movies in Hollywood

Dystopian fiction proliferated in the 2000s, and has reached unprecedented levels of publication. 


Dropping in Holland

There’s a summer Dutch tradition known as “dropping,” where teenagers are let go in a forest and expected to find their way home. 

The challenge is meant to be scary and difficult. Sometimes, children are blind-folded on the way to the dropping. If adults want to make the challenge easier, they leave clues for the children; and if they want to make it harder, they drive in loops on the way to the dropping to scramble their sense of direction. 

According to the New York Times, the dropping teach children to not depend too much on adults. By dropping their children, adults teach them to solve their own problems. 


Photo of the Week

This week’s podcast guest, Tren Griffin, loves ideas more than anybody I’ve ever met. His energy is infectious. The second you start talking about ideas, he lights up.

He writes a blog called 25IQ, which I highly recommend. He’s written about all kinds of people including investors, entrepreneurs, and musicians. I’ve devoted entire afternoons to his website and I still haven’t scratched the surface of it. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Until next week,

David Perell


P.S. If you sign up for Write of Passage before August 5th, you’ll receive access to an exclusive “Initiation” workshop. 

In it, I will walk you through a step-by-step process for setting up your newsletter and your website, which will save you hours in the course. 

And if you’re interested in the course, you can learn more about it here.

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